LOS ANGELES – Biz Markie, a hip-hop artist known for his beatboxing skills, turntable mastery and 1989 classic “Just a Friend,” has passed away. He’s 57 years old.
Markie’s rep, Jenni Izumi, said the rapper and DJ passed away peacefully Friday night with his wife by his side. The cause of death has not yet been released.
“We are grateful for the calls and prayers of support we have received during this difficult time,” Izumi said in a statement. “Biz created an artistic legacy that will forever be celebrated by his industry colleagues and his beloved fans, whom he was able to touch on his life. through music, spanning more than 35 years. He left behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will remember his bubbly, often joking and often joking personality.”
Markie, born Marcel Theo Hall, is known in the rap genre as “Hip-Hop Clown Prince” and self-proclaimed “Hip-Hop Clown Prince” because of his funny lyrics and original lyrics. humor. He has made music with the Beastie Boys, opened Chris Rock’s comedy tour and is a sought-after DJ for countless star-studded events.
The New York-born boy’s musical career began in 1985 as a beat boxer of Juice Crew, a rap group he helped Big Daddy Kane join. Three years later, he released his debut album “Goin ‘Off,” which featured the underground hits “Vapors” and “Pickin’ Boogers.”
Markie broke into the mainstream with the platinum-selling single “Just a Friend”, the lead single from her second year album “The Biz Never Sleeps”. The friend zone song broke Rolling Stone’s top 100 pop songs and made VH1’s list of the 100 greatest hip-hop songs of all time.
Markie, who has released a total of five studio albums, consistently booked more than 175 shows a year, according to the rapper’s website. He has appeared on television shows including “In Living Color” and the 2002 film “Men in Black II”, in which he played an alien parody of himself in the film starring Mr. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
Markie also taught beatboxing in an episode of the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba!”